by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)
Almost every homeowner has to deal with one or two trouble spots in which they simply cannot grow plants to match the rest of theirlandscape design. These problem areas include hillsides, rocky areas, or heavily shaded strips of land. Don’t worry—you have options.
If you’re lucky enough to have a perfect area of ground for landscaping, you can benefit from these tips as well, in the case that a dry year makes it difficult to grow the plants that usually flourish in your yard.
Remember that good landscaping usually works with the surrounding environment, not trying to change it too much. Therefore, if you have a rocky area, why not consider a rock garden? Rock gardens can be a lot of fun to design, and you can get the entire family involved. Rock gardensare also a good solution for people who want a quick and low-maintenance type of landscape.
If your land is sloped, you might also try a rock garden to help preventsoil erosion. Retaining walls can also be built to keep the soil on your property.
Hillsides are difficult places to grow plants, but some, such as grapevines, thrive on a hillside. Check with your local garden center to find more hillside options.
You local garden center is also where you can find plants for a xeriscape as well. What’s a xeriscape? This is a landscape designed especially for dry areas, and it includes a variety of pretty plant options that are drought resistant. You can grow these plants in specific areas of your garden that seem to get too much sun, or you can create an entire landscape from the xeriscape idea.
If you have the opposite problem, a wet area, there are options for your landscape too! Wet areas occur in landscapes by a river or stream that flood often, in a climate with a lot of rain, or simply in patches of your garden that are lower than other patches and collect water. Certain plants thrive in water soil, but you can also install a French drain to help prevent the problem in the first place.
If your soil make-up is the problem, try looking for plants that specifically will thrive in your soil. Your local garden center might also sell topsoil, so if you simply want a few areas with plants, you can replace the existing soil.
Another option is to use mulch and potted plants. Whatever you decide to try, don’t give up. Landscape nightmares can become dreams!
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